So people are trying to combat the bullying of LGBQ teenagers in school, and religious conservative lunatics are trying to combat the efforts to combat the bullying. Yes that’s right. Grown-ups in grown-up organizations full of grown-ups are trying to prevent people from stopping bullying in schools.
Last year, many conservative political organizations, including Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and Concerned Women for America vocally opposed attempts by school districts and public officials to combat bullying based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity—categories typically considered along with other attributes such as race, sex, age, disability and national origin. Moreover, these groups smeared and demonized advocacy groups that collaborate with teachers and administrators in developing best practices to combat bullying, warning that anti-bullying groups would encourage everything from “homosexualizing” youth to anti-Christian persecution to pedophilia.
Religious Right organizations demanded that schools and localities adopt policies that would effectively leave LGBT and LGBT-perceived students unprotected and tie the hands of schools that try to deal with the problem.
Liberty Counsel Director of Cultural Affairs Matt Barber said there is “no evidence” that LGBT people face either discrimination or violence, and Robert Newman of the California Christian Coalition said that bullying is “part of the maturational process,” adding, “I hardly think that bullying is a real issue in schools.” Fox News host Steve Doocy even hosted a segment called “Bullying: Crisis or Panic?” in which he asked if bullying is an “exaggerated epidemic.”
WallBuilders president and Republican operative David Barton falsely claimed that “the leading pediatric association in America” opposed anti-bullying policies that cover sexual orientation. Barton argued, “If you’ll just let this develop naturally, they’ll end up being heterosexual unless you force them to be homosexual…. If you let it run its course it’s gonna turn out normal and natural, unless you guys intervene and make the unnatural stuff natural.”
As it turned out, the group Barton cited was a tiny, fringe anti-gay organization. The country’s actual leading pediatric group, the American Academy of Pediatricians, contacted Barton’s group and requested a retraction, which Barton promptly refused.
These are adults. These are adults dismissing or making light of bullying in schools. These are adults trying to stop other adults preventing bullying. These are adults who want to keep bullying in schools.
One guy even came right out and said so, without even the thinnest veil of disguise.
When whitewashing doesn’t work, some anti-gay activists just try to condone bullying. That’s what Rich Swier of Tea Party Nation attempted to do in a column sent out to members nationwide, dubbing the bullying of LGBT youth a “sham” and adding that if it does take place, it is “healthy” since homosexuality, like drug abuse, “cannot be condoned” and must be stopped:
This is not bullying. It is peer pressure and is healthy. There are many bad behaviors such as smoking, under age drinking [sic] and drug abuse that are behaviors that cannot be condoned. Homosexuality falls into this category. Homosexuality is simply bad behavior that youth see as such and rightly pressure their peers to stop it.